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Macular Degeneration Causes: How To Reduce Your Risk

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Carrie Lam, MD; Jeremy Lam, MD

Macular Degeneration Causes Blindness

Macular Degeneration causes and vitamin C Adult Macular Degeneration is the number one cause of blindness of those over age 65. Macular Degeneration causes are still unknown, yet several risk factors have been identified, such as genetics, smoking, and possibly diet. For prevention or slowing the progression of Adult Macular Degeneration Vitamin C and other antioxidants can reduce the free radical damage to the retinas that primarily causes it.

By filtering out the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and by keeping free radicals from damaging the retina, antioxidants may help to protect against macular degeneration causes. A plant based diet rich in flavonoids, including quercetin and anthocyanins, may help stave off degeneration of the macula. Research and clinical studies have repeated  suggests that beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, selenium, zinc and lutein and zeaxanthin serve as protective antioxidants against macular degeneration and are key nutrients to healthy eyes.

The macula's yellow color is due in fact, to the presence of the carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. The carotenoid lycopene may also be useful because of its antioxidant properties. Zinc is important as well, because of the physiologic role it plays in the retina. A recent study of more than 3, 000 people age 45 to 74 found that drinking wine reduced the risk of macular degeneration causes and risk factors by 19%. The probable mechanism is flavonoid content. Do note that reversal of AMD is probably unlikely. Intake of optimum dose of antioxidants are likely to reduce the rate of progression of the disease for those who have it and prevention of the disease for those who do not have it yet.

Vitamin C and Other Supplements for Macular Degeneration Causes

  1. Anthocyanins: Anthocyanins may be useful for macular degeneration because they help prevent free radical damage and bolster collagen structure in the retina. Leading Food Sources of Anthocyanins: Grapes, Raspberries, Pomegranates, Cherries, Blueberries, Strawberries, Radishes, Cabbage, Cranberries. Look for foods that are dark in color.
  2. Flavonoids: Flavonoids are very powerful antioxidants that may enhance blood flow to the retina while fighting free radical damage from the UV rays of the sun. Leading Food Sources of Flavonoids: Broccoli, Blueberries, White Grapefruit, Carrots, Onions, Pomegranates, Limes, Apples, Tomatoes, Oranges, Lemons.
  3. Lycopene: The unique antioxidative property of lycopene contributes to its ability to protect against oxidative damage. Neutralizing cell-damaging free radicals is an important component of eye health. Leading Food Sources of Lycopene: Cooked Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Guava, Pink Grapefruit.
  4. Quercetin: The antioxidant power of quercetin is important in warning off the free radical damage often assoicated and linked as the leading of macular degeneration causes. Leading Food Sources of Quercetin: Green Cabbage, Apples, Tomatoes, Spinach, Pears,   Onions, Garlic
  5. Selenium: Selenium boosts the body's overall antioxidant activity, so is an important part of the antioxidant regimen. In addition, selenium works synergistically with Vitamin E. The modern day diet is often lacking in selenium. A daily supplement of 50-100 mcg is recommended. Leading Food Sources of Selenium: Rice, Brown Rice, Wheat, Eggs, Tuna, Shrimp, Sunflower Seeds, Brazil Nuts, Chicken
  6. Vitamin C: As an antioxidant, Vitamin C can neutralize free radicals linked to macular degeneration. A daily supplement of 300 to 2000 mg is recommended. Leading Food Sources of Vitamin C: Broccoli, Tangerines and Other mandarins, Oranges, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Green Cabbage, Red and Green Bell Peppers, Kale. Supplementation is recommended since our body cannot make Vitamin C.
  7. Vitamin E may prevent macular degeneration causesVitamin E: According to recent research, the risk of late-stage macular degeneration may be significantly lower in older adults who have high levels of Vitamin E in their bloodstream. A daily supplement of 400 is recommended. Leading Food Sources of Vitamin E: Broccoli, Almonds, Peanuts, Avocados, Mangoes, Sunflower Seeds, Brazil Nuts. You cannot get enough Vitamin E from food and diet alone, so supplementation is necessary.
  8. Zinc: Zinc plays a critical role in retina function. Some research suggests that zinc can slow the progression of macular degeneration. Leading Food Sources of Zinc: Barley, Oysters, Crab, Wheat, Lamb, Beef, Chicken, Turkey.

The increase in antioxidants is beneficial for many aspects of the body. Free radicals are created from activity in our mitochondria, small energy producers in our cells. Usually, antioxidants are plentiful enough and can meet the demands of the free radicals produced. When bound to antioxidants, free radicals are flushed from our body. However, when too many free radicals are produced without sufficient antioxidants, our detoxification process cannot meet the demands and free radicals can cause harm to our body. This is all part of the NeuroEndoMetabolic Stress Response. It is important to keep these processes in balance with each other in order to mitigate the effects of macular degeneration and other detrimental diseases.

The Takeaway

Your eyesight is one of the most important senses you have and you need to protect it. This means that you need to be aware of macular degeneration causes such as diet, smoking, and genetics. However, the direct cause of this degeneration is unknown you may not be able to avoid it, but you can slow its progress by:

  1. Avoiding the sunlight wherever possible and wear sunglasses when you're out.
  2. Supplement with vitamin C, selenium, vitamin E, zinc, and other nutrients that support eye health.
  3. Talk to your doctor about strategies and remedies for degeneration.

Losing your eyesight can be frightening. However, by working to improve your condition you can take control and help improve your overall health. For help with that, talk to our team by clicking here or by ringing +1 (626) 571-1234.

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